(Business in Cameroon) - The rehabilitation of the East Entrance to Douala, suspended for a while now, could soon resume with the mobilization of close to XAF100 billion by the Cameroonian government.
Last October 7, President Paul Biya signed a decree ratifying the about €135.51 million (close to XAF88.9 billion) loan agreement concluded since August 11, 2021, between Cameroon, Standard Chartered Bank, and Achmea Bank with guarantees from the UK Export Finance (Ukef) for the said project.
In the August 2021 issue of its note on the country’s economic situation, the national sinking fund CAA revealed that for the said project, Cameroon has also secured a XAF10.1 billion loan from local bank Société Commerciale de Banque Cameroun (SCB Cameroun), subsidiary of Moroccan group Attijariwafa.
The rehabilitation and extension of the East Entrance were initially entrusted to Chinese firm WIETC/CRCC14 about two years ago. However, accusing the firm of not being proactive, the Ministry of Public Works (MINTP) terminated the contract on October 21, 2019.
On August 9, 2019, Canadian firm Magil was chosen pending the completion of negotiation proceedings and the signature of the financing agreement and public contract. The commercial contract was signed on December 3, 2019, and the infrastructure was scheduled to be delivered on November 30, 2020. However, owing to financial problems, the construction works were suspended and currently, there is no telling whether the public contract has been signed or not.
In addition to providing access to the brand new Japoma stadium, one of the sites for the 2021 African Cup of Nations scheduled for January- February 2022, the East Entrance to Douala connects Douala-Ndjamena and Douala-Bangui, the two corridors through which XAF340 billion and 55 billion of goods transit respectively to Chad and the Central African Republic every year (according to customs authorities).